Narrative study on the teacher beliefs of Yi Jin instructors in Hong Kong

On Chi Steve SIU

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Theses


Teachers generally prefer teaching students who are high academic achievers because such students are considered to be more intelligent and thus more ‘teachable’. Instructing such students also yields greater work satisfaction. However, some dedicated teachers in Hong Kong have chosen to direct their teaching efforts at students with low academic achievement enrolled in the Yi Jin (YJ) programme.
The YJ programme provides an alternative pathway for people who left school after completing their secondary education and adult learners who wish to obtain a formal qualification for employment or further study. The programme is attractive for students who failed previous public examinations or their secondary schooling. Because the YJ programme enrols mostly low achievers, the instructors teaching its classes encounter numerous challenges. This study recruited YJ instructors to comprehensively examine their beliefs and gather some insights to encourage and help other instructors to teach and deal with their students in YJ.
A narrative study was conducted to facilitate YJ instructors’ reflections on, and identification of, their perceptions about the teaching practices, the students they teach, and their roles as instructors in YJ through the collection of their stories in the interviews. Then, the characteristics that define teacher beliefs, the factors affecting the establishment and change of these beliefs, and the influence that these beliefs have on instructors’ teaching practices were determined and elucidated from the stories of their interviews herein.
In total, three instructors were interviewed. The participants indicated that they felt effective as YJ instructors, with a responsibility for building students’ capacities and skills in order to improve their futures. They also expressed understanding for the YJ students who felt frustrated, hopeless, helpless, unmotivated, and were unwilling to study due to their long history of academic failures. Nevertheless, the instructors added that they believe the students are capable of changing and of performing successfully in nonacademic areas. The instructors noted that they adopted various teaching strategies to: make students aware of their shortcomings; encourage students to think about and trust themselves; foster students’ unique abilities; and guide students past their mental barriers to enable them to reach their goals. The many students who graduate from YJ and become successful in life are a crucial reward for the instructors, assuring them of their beliefs and cultivating their continued dedication to the YJ programme. Notably, the instructors confirmed that teachers should maintain belief in their students because even those with limited academic achievement are capable of success. Teachers should aim for overall student growth and personal progress before addressing their academic performance. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Education
Awarding Institution
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • YU, Wai Ming, Supervisor
  • WONG, Ping Ho, Supervisor
Award date02 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Narrative study
  • Low academic achievers
  • Teacher beliefs
  • Yi Jin Programme
  • Continuing education -- China -- Hong Kong
  • Teachers -- Training of -- China -- Hong Kong
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ed.D.)--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2017.


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